Therapy

I know I let you down last week. For the first time since I started this blog, I wasn’t able to stick to my one post a week goal. Ok, that actually sounds arrogant to me. Let’s rephrase it: I let myself down. Believe me, I’m completely aware that this whole blog thing is much more about me dealing with my shadows and letting long unused talents see the light than it is about bringing hope to the hearts of the masses. However, if you did miss me…I’m sorry.

The truth is, the last month has been much rougher for Kohl and me than I had thought it would be. The previous year, as my health slowly faded, I felt like every day was a magical gift, and I was grateful. However, I was also a little arrogant; I kept thinking, I know how to deal with this kidney disease, and though I’m not looking forward to it, I can be stronger than it. Then we were hit by a succession of emotional trials, and sometimes I feel like I’m breaking.

Kohl is still grieving for his dad, and I don’t always know how to comfort him. The other day my heart broke when I heard him sobbing in his office, only to discover that he was actually gasping for breath while he laughed hysterically at a YouTube clip of someone getting hit in the head by a ball. Other times I find him with tears in his eyes as one of his dad’s favorite songs comes up on his iTunes playlist, or worrying that he’s not close enough geographically to help his family.

For me, besides the constant yo-yo of “I feel pretty good today…oh, wait, I’m starting to feel cruddy…no, no, that must have been a fluke; I’m feeling ok…oh, man, I feel terrible,” I’ve also been dealing with the fallout from an emotional conflict with loved ones that has left me struggling with a lot of anger and bitterness, and I’m not sure how to adequately, or healthily, cope. I thought I had learned how to deal with these emotions better than I have, but apparently I still have a long way to go. To top it all off, I got a call last night that my grandpa had had a heart attack (they think), his kidneys have shut down, and he’s in the hospital. Although it sounds like he’s doing better today, there are still a lot of unknowns, and I’m feeling a little out of control.

I’m not sure why all of this is happening at once. Why is it that struggles so often come together? What is it that we need to learn from the combination of grief, fear, emotional distress, and helplessness? If it’s that we sometimes are unable to cope with situations all on our own, that we need help and love, believe me, I am feeling it. I think there is something else, though. I feel like there is some profound truth just beyond my vision that I am supposed to be in the process of learning right now. I hope that I’m discerning enough to grasp it soon, because I do not deal well with emotional pain.

In the meantime, I am trying to be calm and allow myself to feel what I need to feel to work through the anger, fears, and stress. I’m turning again to being creative to help soothe my frazzles. I really love just sitting in silence and working with my hands; I love music, and I like watching things as I work normally, but lately the silence has allowed me to really think about where I’m at and what I truly want while my hands are creating structure and beauty out of tangled threads. In fact, the other day I sat down with some yarn I’d been crushing on for months and created my own pattern for a simple cowl. I spent a few hours on it, and afterwards I felt amazing.  My problems weren’t miraculously solved, but I felt more able to deal with them. Plus, I can never have too many warm things to wear up here on the mountain; this place is cold.

Below is the pattern I created as therapy this weekend, for those who are interested. Please don’t sell the pattern or the finished piece without my permission. (Not that I think any of you would, but apparently this is important to put up for legal reasons.) Here’s hoping that it might help someone else with their frazzles too. If you have questions, let me know!

WOODLAND TWEED COWL

Measurements: 7 ½” (19 cm) by 52” (32 cm)

Materials:

Lion Brand Tweed Stripes yarn (100% Acrylic, 3 oz/85g/144 yd/132m) or other bulky (weight category 5) yarn: 2 skeins Woodlands

US K-10.5 (6.5 mm) crochet hook, or size to obtain gauge

Gauge: gauge is not critical for this project

Foundation Row: Ch 132. Being careful not to twist chain, connect circle with a slip stitch in first chain.

Row 1: Ch 2, hdc in same chain. Hdc across.

Row 2: Ch 2, (FPhdc around hdc, BPhdc around hdc) across.

Row 3: Rep Row 2.

Row 4: Ch 1, sc across.

Row 5: Rep Row 4

Row 6: Ch 3, *sk next sc, 1 dc in each of next 3dc, 1 dc in skipped sc, repeat from *. Join to top of turning ch with sl st.

Row 7: Ch 1, turn. Sc across.

Row 8: Ch 2, hdc across.

Row 9: Ch 1, turn. Sc across.

Rows 10-13: Rep Rows 6-9.¹

Rows 14-15: Rep Rows 6 and 7.

Row 16: Ch. 1, turn. Sc across.

Rows 17-19: Rep Rows 1-3.

¹ The current pattern will give you three repeats of the central pattern; if you want to make the cowl wider, repeat rows 6-9 once or twice more. If you do choose to make it bigger, you may need another skein of yarn.

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18 thoughts on “Therapy

  1. Rainey Stayner says:

    I love reading your blog…I’m sorry things have been so rotten lately. I have had a hard time finding a lot of joy in my life this past month. Life can be so crazy and unbearable at times. Just know your Arizona family loves you and can never thank you enough for everything you did for Dad’s funeral. My Mom and I have spoken about it a few times and agree that we couldn’t have done it without you. You did the busy, annoying, necessary tasks that we were unable to do because of our overwhelming grief. Keep writing…I love to hear about your health and personal feeling:)

    • christaglass says:

      Thanks, Rainey. I love you too, and I really appreciate the support. I say, find something that is just for you, that you love, that calms and relaxes you, and do it once a week. Maybe that will help some of the crazy.

  2. I’m glad you have found something to deal with the frazzles! I think everyone needs something for that ( ; Between finishing nursing school, dealing with my Dad (that’s still something I’m dealing with on a daily basis), and 5 kids who all have a ton going on (call me step-grandma come July)…knitting (for me) does help with the stress!!
    I’ve been eyeballing that lionbrand tweed yarn…how is it to work with?? I’m in love with the homespun…but its “frazzles” are kind of hard to work with sometimes…for knitting anyway.

  3. christaglass says:

    It’s amazing how comforting the simple fact of someone else understanding how you feel can be; thanks for the comment. And the perspective! I can’t even imagine getting into grandmotherhood yet! However, it doesn’t surprise me at all that you’re a knitter. I’m not sure how any of Essie’s relatives and recipients of her beautiful gifts could handle not keeping that tradition going.
    The Lion Brand Tweed Stripes is amazing. I have made about ten ponchos, numerous scarves, and even an afghan with it, and every time I love the feel, the ease, and the colors. I definitely recommend it.

  4. Katie says:

    I really enjoyed your post today. You are so real and so honest. I am so grateful for you and the example you are to me.
    Just a few things on grief from me…
    –it comes in waves. One day you are fine and one day you just need to cry.
    –my Dad will have been gone 9 years this June and yet I still tear up when I see his favorite snacks or something that reminds me of him. I cry every time I hear of someone losing their parent. My heart hurts for them.
    –For me, the best thing was just having Rich close by. Just a simple hug, or comment was all I needed. It just takes time to process the emotions and fully accept that they are gone.
    I don’t know if any of those will help, but I thought I would share how things were/are for me.
    You are so talented with your hands. I love seeing what you’ve made. You are beautiful. Love these pictures!

  5. Kelly says:

    I am so glad I get to “talk” to you even if it’s just to kind of know what is going on. I was thinking the other day that I have friends who have known me for decades. How weird is that? You knew and liked me when I was probably at my most irritating. So weird. So it’s nice to have you back. 🙂
    I think hard things come in waves, and I think it’s because you are so strong. Any one thing, I think you would handle with flying colors. I think sometimes we just need to be reminded of why we are here, and that we still have things to learn, and in my case, learn again and re learn and learn some more. I know there is a reason. All things work together for our good. I also have a really great talk somewhere about what we can learn from Christ and how he handled the people who hurt him in his life. I really love it. If you are interested let me know and I will see if I can get it to you or at least the title. My brain is mush at the moment.
    I read this post and immediately I wanted to make you a happy CD. Maybe I can work on it while I am here and then get it made for you once we get home.
    Your cowl is lovely. I am going to have to try it out. Today I was sitting in the hospital working on a blanket and one of the nurses asked me how I could possibly be working on something like that while I have so much going on. I just kind of shrugged but the truth is, it’s cheaper than therapy. 🙂
    Love you and praying for you and I am glad you are blogging. Please let me know if there is anything I can do. I could send you a pattern or something if you wanted.

    • christaglass says:

      It is crazy how long we have known each other. I still define some things in my life by you. I’ll hear a name and think, “Oh that’s the guy Kelly liked in jr. high,” or I’ll hear a song and be instantly transported to some dance or driving in your convertible on an unbearably hot day.
      I appreciate your comments about my strength. The truth is, I’m pretty sure I can survive anything physical: I’m tough and super stubborn. I’m not afraid of anything that I can grit my teeth and get through. Emotional stuff, though…I’m a fragile mess when it comes to emotional pain, so lately I’ve been struggling. Blogging has been helping me while simultaneously freaking me out. I’m not used to putting all this out there, but I think it’s good. (And here’s where my brain says: “It’s good, right? Yeah, I think it’s good. Oh, crud, is it really good?!”) Regardless, I appreciate the support.

  6. Deb Newey says:

    That cowl is beautiful! (And so are you!) sorry life is so hard and stressful for you guys. If you ever want to get out and have some fun you should call us up sometime and we could play board games and let Pat and Kohl talk about nerdy stuff. 🙂

    • christaglass says:

      It’s so kind of you to assume that I wouldn’t also be talking about nerdy stuff.
      It would be super fun to get together; let’s plan on it. If you message me on Facebook when a good time is for you guys, I’m sure Kohl and I can make it work.

  7. natalienorton says:

    You blow me away. xo. N

  8. Charmain says:

    What does your instruction for the Woodland Tweed Scarf mean when it says for Row 1: Ch 2, hdc in the chain. (What chain?) New to crocheting, so please help if at possible.

    • christaglass says:

      I’m so glad that someone is making my cowl! I hope I can answer all your questions.
      The first thing you do to start a crochet project is make a foundation row of chains. It’s basically just pulling one loop through another loop with the hook. In this pattern you connect the chains with a slip stitch to make a ring. Then the first row is worked into the chains. So in Row 1, you ch (chain) 2 to move yourself up to the next row, and then hdc (half double crochet) in that same chain. Then work another hdc in the next chain, and so on. Basically the foundation row is made up of chains. Does that answer your question?
      I would love to see a picture of your cowl when you’re done! If you get a chance, post it.

  9. Glennie Walker says:

    I hope that things are looking up for you.

    Glennie

  10. Sarah says:

    This is gorgeous! I’m having trouble w Row 6. It says “1 dc in each of the next 3dc, 1 dc in skipped sc”.
    The previous row is all sc so I’m not sure what to do with this row.

  11. Sarah says:

    Never mind! I figured it out 🙂

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